What does the future hold for Electronic Cigarettes
Much discussion and misleading information has been published on the topic of electronic cigarettes, the health aspects, their effectiveness as an alternative to tobacco and also as a cessation device. This article is designed not to add to this clutter or misinformation but to hopefully add some clarity while at the same time leaving the final decision up to the consumer rather than attempting to make the decision for them through untruths and selective reporting.
There is no arguing that the tobacco industry made no, or very little, attempt to inform its consumers and the community as a whole of the perils of traditional cigarettes based on what they knew from their own research. This was until they were required to by law after lawsuits and various investigations. It is my hope that this lesson not fall on deaf ears to all of us in the electronic cigarette industry. While we have great potential in front of us we also have the same potential for error if we focus purely on revenue without morality, as I believe tobacco did. We have the opportunity to help millions of people, while of course making money, but the value and purpose to the community as whole can not be understated. We must continue to fund research and put the consumer first. We must always remember that with much power comes much responsibility.
By the same token anti-smoking groups must adhere to the same strong moral fortitude. So far I have been extremely disappointed in the anti-smoking advocates and groups attitude towards ecigs, not only as a brand owner but also as a smoker. I take exception to what is supposed to be a health advocate taking a hard line against the very product that could (I said could) answer their directive at its core. Especially when you take into account that ecigs are the ONLY product that have shown the potential to dramatically reduce smoking numbers while uniquely being the only cessation/alternative product offering the consumer the ability and personal choice to remove nicotine totally from their smoking habit. In comparison if you take the nicotine out of a patch it is completely ineffective. I believe the anti-smoking groups should be using their considerable resources and finances to partner, or at least work, with the ecig industry to further test and research ecigs ability to help the millions of people who are and will continue to be addicted to traditional cigarettes. This tact would appear to adhere to the core purpose of anti-smoking groups. Why aren’t they doing this? In my opinion the answer is very simple; they are heavily influenced by politics, tobacco and pharmaceutical, plain and simple. Many of the same companies that hide under the guise of public safety are partly funded by these very same industries. Keep in mind I’m not saying electronic cigarettes are 100% healthy or are the answer to all our problems when it comes to smoking. What I am saying is they have shown undoubtedly the potential to be, so why not investigate and be proactive considering the tremendous rewards? If the proactive and completely unbiased approach stance is taken then we are all going to get the answers quicker than we will currently as adversaries.
In the case of politicians it is no secret that they receive contributions from tobacco companies. To add to the conflict of interest they also have the added benefit of the taxes raised by traditional cigarettes sales. Taxes that they claim are designed to partly discourage smokers through higher prices, but this is a double edged sword. If it truly did achieve this lofty goal they would have to find the revenue streams elsewhere and therefore this entire process only encourages elected officials to ensure tobacco continues to be sold and fill their coffers with billions of dollars in taxes. If however taxes on cigarettes were removed or at least reduced greatly, would that then remove or reduce the reliance of states or the governments for that revenue? Now I understand they have to get that revenue from other sources and I’m not an advocate of removing tobacco taxes as I believe that revenue should be allocated to public health. The point I’m trying to make is that you can’t have both, the huge revenue stream through taxes and wanting the government to find an adequate solution to smoking.
Now while I’m obviously an advocate for electronic cigarettes and openly have a dog in the fight the points I am trying to make are not designed to sling mud at the various factions but to highlight how and why decisions are made and what is at the root of the various decisions and to hopefully spark some debate about the situation and the industry as a whole. I believe greatly in the opportunity that blu and companies like mine have but I also understand the door swings both ways. I completely agree and support the fact that ecigs need to have some regulations associated with their sale and I strongly believe that further testing has to be done to ensure the safety of the consumer, of which I am one. What I am trying to highlight is that all these objectives and many more can be achieved if parties like the anti-smoking groups and politicians actually adhere to their elected function and play a constructive role in the process rather than a destructive one simply because of various contrary relationships they have with parties that have no interest in a positive solution.
Hopefully I have sparked some thought and discussion and at the same time offered some solutions rather than just being the naysayer. The frustrating part is that the solutions are very simple and right in front of us. The difficult part is navigating who has a dog in which fight and then laying all those cards on the table. If you focus on saving lives you would think the path is obvious, yet here we are…